Pablo Rodriguez

Today i went out with the purpose of learning something new.

I took with me a yoyo to play. i thought that maybe learning how to roll it well was going to be *the* task since this is something i wanted to do for a while but i still suck at it. or maybe, it would just open my self up into any other possibility.

And while going out of the building, climbing down the stairs, rolling the rope around the yoyo, and heading to the street, i noticed something was following me, or rather leading me i should say — it was my shadow!

And i started wondering about shadows: what are they?, why are they there?, what do they mean?, does everybody have a shadow?, can i infer whether people are happy or sad by looking at their shadows? what perspective of me does my shadow bring? and i headed out of the door while i started rolling the yoyo and looking for shadows.

I noticed long, short, slow moving, and quite articulated people’s shadows. i actually saw the shadow of a bike about to turn the corner while i shouted “careful!”, as another bike was rushing into the intersection. both bikes were about to hit as they could not see each other coming, however, their shadows could!…. so maybe shadows were early warning systems for people?.

After taking the turn, i saw a big sign on the street whose shadow actually had the shape of a person. how come? is that even possible? an object with the shadow of a person? is that allowed? who does it belong to? ummm… my brain had seriously started wondering more about shadows.

And then i remembered that a school of painting (which driven the church) had a particular style of painting were only mortals had shadows, but divine characters did not have shadows (e.g. the virgin Mary).

So i started looking for divinity, and I started thinking that there were things that always live in a shadow! how would that feel? would that be even possible?

Suddenly i wanted to experience that myself: what would it be to live under a continuous shadow? –, and i entered a dark alley while untwisting my twisted yoyo and feeling the cold of the dark shadow. and while walking through the alley, i looked at a house door with a post office booth on it which read “Mad”. and i thought, yes, we are getting somewhere!

So i kept looking for things without a shadow, looking for divinity. and suddenly i noticed that my shadow had reflected on the wall and created another shadow! the shadow had its own shadow!!! the shadow had its own personality? i could not control it and could not make it disappear? i could just see it and experience it? that was irreverent and there was overall something very fulfilling about it.

And so i while i crashed the yoyo on the floor and a few young people laughed at my poor yoyo skills, i found something without a shadow!! yes, there it was! right there in front of me!! it was a big, big lid lamp inside a store. and i had just realized that lamps generate light, which gives shadow to others, but they themselves, don’t have shadows, never, ever. what did that mean? that was truly intriguing.

I then walked further looking for more things without a shadow. and i thought about the water. water has its own flow and moves so gently, maybe there is no time or space to create shadows? and so i walked to the river, and when i was on top of the bridge i realized it did have shadows!, lots of them!!, in fact very many ones that were produced by the waves in the water and the shadows of other things around it.

And while i was there i noticed a little shop i had not seen before. i went inside the small cooking store and bought a little wooden spoon. don’t ask me why, but instinctively i went down into the river edge, grabbed the spoon and filled it with water. and i started staring at the spoon to see whether by changing perspectives, the river still had shadows? and it did indeed! there they were, even in the little spoon space i was holding, there were the same river shadows. how fascinating!

All of the sudden i looked up and the sun was gone. my shadow was gone too! ok. enough i said. i need to go back. i am already late for my appointment. so i started walking back, but the thoughts of all my learnings, the spoon on my left hand, and the yoyo on my right hand got me all lost. i managed to make it 15min late using my phone gps and asking a couple of people, but on the way i learnt many many things, not only about shadows, but about yoyos, spoons, perspectives and time. good fun!!

Learning is a condition you forget while you are learning :)